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Mass. Foreclosure Deeds, Petitions At Lowest Levels All Year

BOSTON, January 2, 2013 – The number of completed foreclosures in Massachusetts declined again in November, marking the sixth straight month of year-over-year declines, according to The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

Meanwhile, foreclosure petitions also decreased in November, dropping to the lowest level so far this year.

A total of 295 foreclosure deeds were recorded in November, a near 60 percent decrease from 731 deeds in the same month last year. Year-to-date foreclosure deeds are down. A total of 7,158 foreclosure deeds have been completed this year, down almost 8 percent from 7,771 deeds recorded during the same period last year.

The number of foreclosures initiated by lenders in Massachusetts also dropped in November. Lenders filed 983 petitions to foreclose – which mark the first step in the foreclosure process in Massachusetts – a 3 percent decline from 1,015 a year earlier.

“It’s been quite a positive year for the local housing market. We’re beginning to see a brighter picture – with less foreclosures and more home sales,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “An improving employment picture combined with government-backed programs are leading to fewer mortgage delinquencies.”

November marks the second time this year that foreclosure petitions have dropped. This is the fewest number of petitions filed since May 2011, when there were 699 petitions filed. A total of 16,317 foreclosure petitions have been filed so far this year statewide, up 40 percent from 11,625 during the same period in 2011.

In November, the number of auction announcements tracked by The Warren Group fell to 381, a near 72 percent drop from 1,356 in November 2011. Year-to-date auction announcements are down 20 percent. So far this year, 12,665 auctions have been announced, down from 15,806 during the same period last year.